Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Next Election

Now all that UK Parliamentary unpleasantness is behind us, let’s turn our attention to a more fun election. The next Oxford Professor of Poetry will be chosen by a vote of graduates of the university. Information about the position, how to register and cast your vote, and statements from the nominees, can be found here:

Sadly I’m ineligible to vote in elections at The Other Place (I studied at Cambridge), but that doesn’t stop me from having an opinion. AE Stallings is my favourite living poet: a master both of ancient forms and modern colloquial speech, with great insight into the human condition. She is also a talented and passionate teacher of poetry. I was lucky enough to take a workshop with her last summer in West Chester PA, and was enlightened and entertained in equal measure.

There’s a great (if outdated) interview with Alicia here:
And you can keep up with the campaign on Facebook:

If Oxford choose her, they won’t regret it. My only reservation is that, being The Other Place, they don’t deserve her.


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Kipling Endorses a Political Party

IF Rudyard Kipling were alive today and asked to write an endorsement for one of the parties in today’s General Election, it might have gone nothing like this:

If you want subsidies on moustache wax,
and (crucially) to force HMRC
to give us nectar points for paying tax;
If you’d relocate Nessie to the Lea,
and Parliament itself to Wormwood Scrubs
to minimize MPs’ commuting times;
If you want rickshaw toilets outside pubs
and all towns twinned with ones in warmer climes;
If you think leap years ought to be augmented
by years devoted to jumps, skips, and hops,
and sex with vegetables could be prevented
by new food safety labels in the shops;
If ‘transportation’ means a Real Ale Train
and trans-galactic space port (maybe two);
If UKIP seem a teensy bit too sane;
the Monster Raving Loonies are for you.


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